tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 7, 2010 5:00pm-7:00pm EDT
"rick's list." my thanks to barbara starr for bringing us up to date on this story. if anything else develops we'll bring it to you as well. we'll also be cactus league on ton -- also be keying on the situation in boulder, colorado, the latest on those fires now declared a state of emergency and also the latest on the tropical storm now going into inland texas and parts of oklahoma. we're worried a little bit about flash flooding so we'll be following that. all that and more here on primetime edition of "rick's list." now my colleague wolf blitzer in "the situation room." thanks very much, rick. happening now it's a major break from president obama. just weeks after leaving his post the former white house budget director now arguing for a temporary extension of the controversial bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. plus as ohio goes so goes the nation? the phrase rings true as democrats struggling right now to hold on to critical seats in time for november's mid term election. the best political team on
television is in ohio right now live with the cnn election express. i'll speak also with the chairman of the democratic party. and heightened warnings from top u.s. military officials in afghanistan as a florida pastor pushes ahead with plans to burn korans on the september 11 anniversary this saturday. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the economy is spelling new trouble for president obama and democrats on the national stage. nowhere is that more evident than ohio a state that helped decide the fate of all but two presidential races in the last 100 years. now with only 56 days left before what's expected to be a highly contentious mid term election, ohio's staggering 10.3 unemployment rate is toughening the battle for democrats already clinging to stay in power. this hour we're on the ground in
ohio with the best political team on television. they'll be live from the cnn election express. but first, let's go live to the white house where president obama's efforts to jump-start the ailing economy are hitting new road blocks. a cnn opinion research corporation poll now shows that more americans, 46%, think republicans can do a better job handling what voters consider to be issue number one while 43% say democrats. this comes amid new concerns about the administration's proposed plans to end bush tax cuts for the wealthy from someone who just recently was one of the president's closest economic advisers. the former white house budget director peter orszag writing in the "new york times" today nobody wants to make an already stagnating jobs market worse over the next year or two which is exactly what would happen if the cuts expire as planned. we're breaking it all down with our white house correspondent dan lothian and our chief
business correspondent ali velshi at the cnn center. let's go to the white house first to get reaction. what are officials saying about peter orszag's proposals, dan? >> reporter: well, white house spokesman robert gibbs today saying he thinks that peter orszag was wearing his congressional relations hat. in other words he was laying out a compromise whereby lawmakers might have to do something to help the wealthiest of americans to get a deal done up on capitol hill orszag writing, quote, higher taxes now would crimp consumer spending, further depressing the already inadequate demand for what firms are capable of producing at full tilt. though the bottom line here at the white house is that despite what he has written in that "new york times" opinion piece it does not change the president's thinking about tax cuts for the rich. >> our viewpoint on this is that we should and must pass legislation that extends the tax
cuts for the middle class families but we cannot afford in this environment to in our budgetary and fiscal environment, to extend the tax cuts for those that make more than $250,000 a year. >> reporter: what's clear here at the white house though according to top aides is that they won't say whether they're concerned that this message from orszag today will give ammunition to republicans especially during this critical, mid term election season. what we do know, though, is they were apparently caught off guard by that opinion piece, robert gibbs saying that as far as he's aware no one here at the white house got an early read before it was released. wolf? >> i know the president tomorrow around this time is going to be in cleveland, ohio, speaking about the economy, about jobs. he's got more initiatives, more proposals. he's about to lay out. give us a little preview. >> that's right. this is just yet another prong of this big push by the white house to try and turn the ailing economy around. the president will be rolling
out $200 billion in tax cuts for businesses to buy new equipment. all told between that, some other proposals including infrastructure $50 billion, we talked about that yesterday, will total about $350 billion that the president is proposing. the white house says it's much less than that because there will be offsets and they'll be closing some loop holes. what they are trying to show here is that the president is very much engaged in trying to get the economy back ontrack. >> you can call it a lot of things but do not call it a second stimulus. while some may argue that's exactly what it looks like the white house is staying away from that. the big challenge though is will they be able to get all these proposals through up on capitol hill? right now it's uncertain they'll be able to do that, wolf. >> uncertain you say. a lot of experts are saying between now and november 2nd and the mid term elections it's impossible to get this $350 billion package through. >> that's right. that's why today at the press briefing someone asked robert gibbs if it pretty much seems
uncertain or impossible to get this done then why is the white house moving forward with this? of course cynics would argue that at least there is a public relations side to this. the white house can show americans that this is what they're doing to turn the economy around and republicans are putting up road blocks. >> dan lothian is over at the white house. let's dig deep other than these proposed tax cuts with our chief business correspondent ali velshi. ali, assuming that the president's plans do get off the ground, explain what we're talking about right now. >> all right. well, part of the reason why they want to do this even if it doesn't get off the ground is because of that $350 billion, that dan was just talking about, $300 billion of those are essentially tax credits. for an administration that has been called unfriendly to business, $200 billion of that is going to be announced tomorrow and that is for expansions of plant or to buy equipment for businesses. the idea is that businesses are not spending their money and not expanding. if they start expanding plant building that creates jobs. if they buy equipment that'll create jobs.
that is the $200 billion. i want to switch this over and show you what else that the white house is talking about. there is the $100 billion. there is the $50 billion the president announced in milwaukee. this is for rapid transit, high speed rail, new runways at airports and air traffic control upgrades and new roads. that's traditional stimulus, wolf. then you've got the $100 billion. those are for extensions of a credit, a tax credit that already exists for companies who develop and create new inventions. one of the things that a lot of people say will be the heart of economic growth in america. and finally, the $200 billion that dan was just talking about, which is designed to get companies to build, plant, and buy equipment. so it is a stimulus. the idea is it is supposed to stimulate the economy. the problem, wolf, is that we've made stimulus into a bad word in this country and that's why the white house doesn't want us using that expression for this kind of stuff. ultimately it is designed to stimulate and is designed to go
through businesses to do that. many of those businesses will be small business. you and i have discussed many times, wolf, that small business is typically the engine of job creation in this country. not big businesses. right now that's not happening. >> let's talk about it. if in fact congress were to approve all of this $350 billion package, it would take a while, ali, for any new jobs -- >> yes. >> really to emerge as a result. these aren't going to create new jobs wan week or a month or very quickly. >> completely right. but we are at a point in this recession, wolf, where we shouldn't have to depend on increased government expenditure into the economy to be creating jobs. we should be looking at the private sector to do so. what i think we're trying to deal with right now is confidence. as we've discussed consumers are keeping their money in their pocket because the unemployment rate continues to be high. jobs continue to be lost. they're worried about losing homes. you don't want to spend money if you think you won't be able to pay for that a year from now. businesses are not stepping up and hiring people because they're waiting to see consumers step in. so this is more meant to provide
confidence. this is not an antibusiness administration. and that things are going to get good. so we'll give you an incentive to start spending now. the recovery has to come from consumers and businesses. it can't continue to rely on government inputs. so it's not going to create any jobs immediately. it is meant to get businesses to step in and say, look, there is some incentive for us to get back into the game. put some of the money we've been stashing on the side into the economy. >> ali velshi, thanks very much. good analysis. shifting political opinions. a new poll shows many americans are losing confidence in democrats' ability to handle the economy. will that translate into real problems come election day? and chicago mayor richard daley announcing he will not seek re-election. will the white house chief of staff rahm emanuel try to take his spot? stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
to everyone who wants to go to college and everyone who started college but never finished... to late bloomers... full-time moms... and everyone who is good at something but wants to be great. welcome to kaplan university. the university that's changing the face of education... to undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees... degrees that can give you a leg up... in a tough job market... in any job market... welcome. welcome to kaplan university. call kaplan university now or visit us on-line to take our free learning assessment.
i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs. calm down. i know that it is not your job. what i'm saying... excuse me? alright, fine. no, you don't have to do it. ok? [ male announcer ] notre dame knows it's better for xerox to control its printing costs. so they can focus on winning on and off the field. [ manager ] are you sure i can't talk -- ok, no, i get it. [ male announcer ] with xerox, you're ready for real business. concierge claim centers. so i can just drop off my car and you'll take care of everything? yep, even the rental. what if i'm stuck at the office? if you can't come to us, we'll come to you in one of our immediate response vehicles! what if mother won't let me drive? then you probably wouldn't have had an accident in the first place. and we're walkin'! and we're walkin'... making it all a bit easier -- now that's progressive!
call or click today. jack cafferty is here. he has the cafferty file. >> a story of a real bright idea. general petraeus the top commander in afghanistan is condemning a florida church's plan to burn korans on september 11. petraeus says the burning of islam's holy books could endanger american troops overseas and the overall effort in afghanistan. there are about 120,000 u.s. and nato troops fighting al qaeda and the taliban there. petraeus says even the rumor that the koran burning might happen has sparked protests in the muslim world. we have some footage of hundreds of afghans who demonstrated
yesterday in kabul chanting "death to america." and calling on the u.s. to withdraw its troops. thousands of indonesians gathered outside the u.s. embassy in jakarta over the weekend. protesters say the koran burning is an insult to muslims all around the world. and it is. meanwhile, the pastor of the dove world outreach church, membership about 50, in gainsville, florida, told cnn his congregation plans to go through with it. terry jones says they firmly made up their minds but are praying about what they are about to do. jones says the congregation knows this is offensive but he says he is offended when muslims burn the american flag or the bible. he claims their message is not one of hate and not meant for moderate muslims but rather a warning to radical muslims. lots of people think this is a terrible idea. the u.s. embassy in kabul says the u.s. government condemns the, quote, offensive messages and disrespect against islam.
and various religious groups are also opposing this koran burning. the national association of evangelicals is calling on the church to cancel the event. christian, muslim, jewish, and hindu leaders in gainseville have organized a gathering for peace to be held the same night before the scheduled burning. so here's the question. a florida church is planning to burn korans on september 11 as a warning to muslim extremists. is this a good idea? here is a hint. no! go to cnn.com/cafferty file. post your comment on my blog. one of the things thags with all the freedoms we have in this country, wolf, is the freedom to be stupid. >> yeah, it certainly is. and i know that the u.s. military personnel not just general petraeus, they are deeply worried that this event if it happens on saturday could cause injury or even death to young men and women who are serving in the united states. >> remember when they published a cartoon drawing of mohamed in
a danish newspaper they tore half of western europe off its foundation. this is a terrible idea. >> i know. let's hope it doesn't happen. thanks, jack, very much. the white house press secretary robert gibbs was asked to give the president's reaction to that florida church's plans to burn the koran. here's what gibbs said. >> it puts our troops in harm's way. and obviously that -- any type of activity like that would be -- be be -- that puts our troops in harm's way would be of concern to this administration. >> eric holder is meeting with top religious leaders to address what they call a rising tide of antimuslim bigotry in the united states. muslim, christian, and jewish faiths were all represented. during a news conference over at the national press club the leaders argued antiislamic sentiment is a betrayal of traditional american principles. this concern was voiced. >> i have a great fear that the story of bigotry, the story of hatred, the story of animosity
to others is going to be taken by some to be the story of the real america, and it's not. this is not america. this is not our country. and we have to make sure that our country is known around the world as a place where liberty of religion, where respect for your neighbor, where love for your neighbor and where these things are the most prominent in our society. >> the secretary of state hillary clinton may be weighing in on this debate later tonight. she is over at a ramadan celebration at the state department and is scheduled to speak. we'll have that for you. that's here in "the situation room." let's get back to our top story right now. the economy and jobs. new polling numbers could mean serious trouble for democrats on november 2nd. let's discuss with our senior political analyst, david gergen. he is here in "the situation room." you saw the poll numbers. the republicans now are deemed to be better at dealing with the economy than the democrats. it's a major reversal than what it was only a few months ago.
why all of a sudden do americans have greater trust in the republicans dealing with the economy than the democrats? >> 16 straight months of unemployment, over 9%. that'll do it to you. i don't care who you are. ronald reagan had high unemployment, his number went down. that's why he lost a lot of seats in the mid term of '82. but this 16 months, i think people felt when barack obama came in, look, you're inheriting a terrible mess. your predecessor and the people around him did a terrible thing. they're leaving us with this. but they expected him to clean it up. that was the promise of the campaign. and here we are, you know, 16 months later, with this thing stubbornly high up and the president is coming forward and proposing these new stimulus programs you just talked about. >> they don't want to call it stimulus. >> but they are and they've been talking about this for a long time. they just don't want to put it in one package and call it stimulus two but that's the sequel. >> as worrisome as it is for the democrats, the republicans have greater confidence right now than democrats.
look at the number among independents because there's a huge gap. 19 points which party can do a better job with the economy? we asked independent voters. 51% said republicans. 32% said democrats. and that's the swing vote right there. >> that's a huge swing, wolf. you know that's -- and that's why everybody thinks this is going to be a wave. it's hard to get those independents back. we only have one more unemployment number between now and the elections. i don't think there is much hope of -- i think basically the democrats have lost the national argument. what they're trying to do now is localize the races and save as many individual democrats as they can. >> and start planning on how they'll deal with potentially a republican majority in the house and maybe even in the senate. >> maybe so. and maybe a new chief of staff at the white house now that richard daley is stepping down. >> rahm emanuel. he'll have to make a decision very soon whether he leaves the white house and runs for mayor of his hometown of chicago. >> i think he will and by the way i think he should. you know, he gave up his dream
to be speaker of the house, to succeed nancy pelosi one day down the road and come help the president but this is his other dream. bless him for it. as you know, wolf, that chief of staff job is a killer job. it's a two-year job. >> a tough job. >> very hard. >> and the elections are next february so not that far away in chicago. >> we'll see. >> we'll watch rahm and watch you. thanks very much. >> thank you. new warnings about products your children could be playing with. could they contain illegal amounts of lead? plus, many tourists planning to visit the united states might just have to pay a new fee. we'll have details, coming up. ] marie callender's invites you back to lunch,
kate bolduan is monitoring some of the other top stories in the situation room right now. what's going on? >> hey, wolf. first to colorado where a state of emergency has just been declared and a fleet of airplanes is battling a fast moving wildfire near boulder. they're dropping fire retardant to attack flames that were whipped into a frenzy by
40-mile-per-hour winds yesterday. more than 7,000 acres have been scorched and thousands of residents evacuated. officials say some structures have burned but didn't release any details on that. children's products on store shelves right now may contain, quote, worrisome levels of potentially dangerous metals according to "consumer reports" magazine. it says tests showed legal amounts of lead in a clover shaped cell phone charm sold at claire's and also says older makes of adorable bundle me rain coats had too much lead as well and a revlon barrette contained high levels of a metal. starting today there will be a $14 fee, part of the visa waiver program that allows visitors to travel to the u.s. without a visa. why now? a little thing called u.s. tourism is down and almost the entirety will go toward promoting the u.s. as a tourist destination. of course it's a tourist
destination. it is the home of one wolf blitzer. >> they can come and be tourists here in "the situation room." we wouldn't charge $14. >> maybe just a little fee. >> if they can come to the united states they can afford a $14 fee. >> i agree. >> thank you. ohio democrats in a bruising battle to hold on to their seats. is the critical issue of the economy and jobs pushing voters into the arms of republicans? the best political team on television straight ahead. and an iraqi soldier opens up fire on u.s. troops in iraq. the first deadly attacks since the u.s. combat mission officially ended. we're going to baghdad. stay with us. you're in the situation room. 48
man and woman: ♪ it's the happy birthday song ♪ love, dad and ♪ love, mom ♪ it's your birthday, now, that's the bomb ♪ ♪ you're 13 and livin' strong ♪ [muffled] ♪ it's the happy birthday song ♪ what, what? ♪ it's the happy birthday song ♪ ♪ what, what? ♪ the happy... announcer: you don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent, because kids in foster care don't need perfection. they need you.
congressman john vociori in ohio's 16th district. it went for john mccain and not barack obama in that big election year. dana bash spent some time there. >> reporter: this shuttered plant really helps illustrate the mood here at eastern ohio and that is frustration and despair. hercules engines, this was a booming plant for generations but it shut down about a decade ago. that means that all of the jobs in this building are lost. well, a few years ago there was actually a plan to breathe new life here. $178 million project for shops in here, apartments, but the credit market dried up after the financial system collapsed and all of this stopped. >> when i see that shuttered factory i'm reminded of our trade deals that allowed that to happen. that didn't happen in 20 months but over years and decades of lack of focus on the american worker and american businesses. >> reporter: at the stark county fair, first-term democratic congressman john boccieri pleads
for patience. >> it is very clear that the economic solutions and the investments that we've made are going to take time to recover. >> reporter: this ohio district was in republican hands for 60 years before this democrat won in 2008 and representing this conservative area makes him one of the most endangered democrats in the house. >> how are you sir? to follow the congressman around like we are, he is back there talking to voters and hearing some serious passion and frustration. >> getting tired of the namby pamby crap between the republicans and the democrats. it's our country. it's not democrat and republican. it's our country. and we're losing. >> amen. how you doing? i'm running for congress. >> how you doing? >> reporter: that is the republican challenger and if you listen to his arguments there, the classic gop playbook this year. against the democratic leadership in washington. >> john votes lock step with nancy pelosi. it's an issue. he can say he doesn't but he
does. and this district is being represented by nancy pelosi right now. >> i'm not ashamed of any votes we've taken. i've kpind on reforming the health care system, on finding a national energy policy. at the end of the day the people voted for me to be their congressman not some congresswoman in california or the president. >> reporter: his republican challenger is a local businessman and former mayor. why do you think you would be a better congressman than john? >> 27 years experience in business. i've been, created over 1500 jobs, employed over 3,000 people. >> this is a tough political environment to run in. there are still a lot of folks out there who are trying to find a job. >> reporter: you even feel that at this festive fair. economic pain and political peril for democrats. >> the fair is feeling it. we have to inflate our prices to meet with the prices of our products and people have a hard time spending money on a sandwich that costs $5. >> reporter: did you vote for president obama? >> yes. >> reporter: how do you feel about that vote now?
>> it's only been two years and i'm hoping he keeps doing a better job as time goes on. i'm a democrat and, you know, it's just, who's right, who's wrong? i don't know. but everybody needs to focus on the big picture. >> dana is joining us now live. dana, is the congressman going to go to cleveland tomorrow? it's not far from his district where the president of the united states will be delivering a major speech on the economy? >> reporter: well, wolf, the source close to the congressman says he hasn't decided yet. he has gotten a formal invitation from the white house to be with the president at that big economic speech. it's only about an hour from his district. but you saw and heard the sentiment in his district and specifically the argument that his republican opponent is making trying to tie him to the president who is not very popular in this district, didn't even win in 2008 during -- when the president did very well elsewhere in this state. so what i'm told is that he
already has some event scheduled with local officials. he is going to study the president's economic plan and see if it's something that he wants to sign on to. that doesn't sound very positive about his chances for going. i will tell you, though, wolf, that the candidate for senate here, democratic candidate for senate, the democratic candidate for governor, they will go with the president to that event. it is a very tough call for these candidates who are trying to really distance themselves and play it sort of down the middle and be their own person and not be tied too closely to the president. >> a sensitive issue. who would have thought a year, year and a half ago that it would be so sensitive for some of these democrats to show up when the president of the united states comes to basically their home state or their district. all right, dana. thanks very much. let's dig a little bit deeper right now with our senior political analyst gloria borger. she is also on the ground in ohio with the cnn election express. she's been talking to democratic voters trying to gauge their enthusiasm, whether they're really paying attention to these races that are out there.
let's go to gloria right now. all right, gloria. what are you finding out as you speak to real voters in ohio? >> you know, wolf, i found out that while there are lots of democrats around here in columbus who are really willing to give this president the benefit of the doubt, they're willing to give him more time on the economy, when i talk to these democratic voters, it's clear that the white house and their candidates have a problem. so i did a little bit of jay leno, man on the street kind of thing, asking the question about what's the democratic message? take a listen to their answers. do the democrats have a clear message that's going to rally their base of supporters to get them out and vote in big numbers in this mid-term election? >> in a word or -- no. no they don't. sorry. that's the way i feel about it. i don't think they've had a clear message yet. >> reporter: in this mid term election, the message from the democrats is --? >> i think it's a little
muddled. i don't really, i'm not really hearing from them exactly what they want to do. i think they know but i think that it's being so cautious not to offend anybody. >> reporter: have you heard a clear message from the republicans? >> yeah. everything's bad. everything's horrible. >> reporter: so, wolf, you know that's really the problem in a nutshell. the democrats don't have a clear message but everybody, including the democrats, are hearing the republican message, which is things are terrible. it's time for a change. so that message seems to be getting across. >> gloria borger doing a little jaywalking in ohio for us. all right. gloria, thanks very much. we'll check back with you tomorrow. >> sure. >> reporter: the mayor of chicago announcing he won't run for re-election. could he be paving the way for one of president obama's key advisers to perhaps become the next mayor of chicago? we're talking about that in our strategy session coming up.
don't worry about that. i switched to sprint's $69.99 plan, so i wasn't charged extra. [ buzzes ] okay, i just got your breakup e-mail. e-mails are unlimited, too. and look -- i just changed my facebook status to "single." but internet's also unlimited. [ cellphone buzzing ] deaf, hard-of-hearing and people with speech disabilities, access www.sprintrelay.com. yeah. [ male announcer ] only sprint gives you unlimited text, web, and calling to any mobile for just $69.99. sprint. the now network. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
[ technician ] are you busy? management just sent over these new technical manuals. they need you to translate them into portuguese. by tomorrow. [ male announcer ] ducati knows it's better for xerox to manage their global publications. so they can focus on building amazing bikes. with xerox, you're ready for real business.
hammered by those on the left. robert reich a former clinton labor secretary writing today the economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs botox. he's blasting these proposals from the president to give big corporations new tax breaks. >> what mr. reich and perhaps some others are worried about is will these corporations actually spend this money and go out and hire new workers or will they just utilize some of the tax credits to essential ly get mor equipment and not allow it to really bring these workers back to their plants or to their manufacturing centers. i think what the president is trying to do is get corporations -- they're sitting on trillions of dollars in profits, wolf -- he is trying to get them off the sidelines and back into the playing field so they can help with stimulating the economy. >> a lot of democrats are saying
the republicans, mary, are being hypocritical right now because republican economists and conservatives like these corporate tax breaks the president, at least some of them the president is proposing. but the republicans are just saying no, no, no. >> what republicans don't like and why secretary reich is right on two counts, one, the president's just doing this to be political. he's just trying to put republicans in a bind. it doesn't fit into an overall economic framework. and this particular text, i agree with secretary reich, no matter what republicans may think, it doesn't scratch the itch which is uncertainty for future planning. it's only a year long. secondly, it's central planning. and donna is right, too. they have money. they know where to put their r&d money. this will only serve to accelerate those writeoffs and if they want to invest in their own thing they know how to do that. let the market and the profit motive determine that not some central planner. i don't really like these
because the best thing and what small businesses and large businesses and all economists seem to favor is an extension or permanence of the existing tax rates and then cut spending. if the president would say something like that or something akin to it instead of playing politics the republicans would be with him. >> speaking of politics let me get both of you to weigh in on mayor daley in chicago. he announced today he is not going to run for re-election, the election coming up in february of next year. a lot of speculation already, donna, as you know, that rahm emanuel the white house chief of staff, will run in his hometown of chicago. rahm emanuel issuing a statement while mayor daley surprised me today with the decision to not run for re-election, i have never been surprised by his leadership, dedication, and tireless work on behalf of the city and the people of chicago. he was thunderously silent on whether he is going to run but do you think he will? >> you know, wolf, the deadline is november 22nd and i could tell you knowing just a little bit about chicago politics that will be a tough race. rahm is well known in chicago so he doesn't have a name, a
problem with name i.d. he could raise the money. but i'm telling you in terms of some of the progressives that he has alienated, i don't know if they are willing to embrace rahm emanuel but good luck and thank you, mayor daley, for 21 years of service as mayor of one of america's finest cities and 40 years of public service. >> chicago is your hometown, mary. what do you think? >> i think rahm would be terrific. i don't think it's that kind of progressive democrats we grew up with. very fond of them, my conservative friends don't like to hear this, but rahm is practical, he's tough, the kind of mayor chicago could use and need. it's a tough city to run and that's why the daleys have done as well for as long as they have. i agree with donna. thank you for saying that, donna. public service is a noble calling and i hope rahm does it. i like guys who get in the arena. good luck, rahm. it makes me nervous you are the only sensible one in the white house left. >> all right, guys. thanks very much. >> i know a couple friends in
the white house that are sensible too. they can replace rahm. >> the ones that talk to you, donna, are the sensible ones. >> strong endorsement from mary matalin. i don't know if it's going to help rahm emanuel but we'll see. all right. thanks. coming up we'll speak with the chairman of the democratic party the former virginia governor tim kaine who has some thoughts on what's going on. stay with us in "the situation room." welcome to the world of lovaza, where nature meets science. if you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, you may also have very high triglycerides -- too much fat in the blood. it's a serious medical condition. lovaza, along with diet, effectively lowers very high triglycerides in adults but has not been shown to prevent heart attacks or strokes.
lovaza starts with omega-3 fish oil that's then purified and concentrated. it's the only omega-3 medication that's fda-approved. you can't get it at a health food store. lovaza isn't right for everyone. tell your doctor if you're allergic to fish, have other medical conditions and about any medications you're taking, especially those that may increase risk of bleeding. blood tests are needed before and during treatment. in some, ldl or bad cholesterol may increase. possible side effects include burping, infection, flu-like symptoms, upset stomach, and change in sense of taste. ask your doctor about lovaza, the prescription that starts in the sea. ♪ [ male announcer ] your first day. you try to lie low, get the lay of the land. but then autoblog.com calls your interior lexus quiet. and automobile magazine goes comparing you to a cadillac. ♪ so much for the new kid fitting in with the rest of the class.
about that and a lot more. governor, thanks very much for coming in. >> wolf, good to be back with you. >> you have your hands full right now. i was reading mike alan's column in politico today and the lead paragraph, with just two months to go before the november elections pollsters and political scientists are predicting a blowout loss for democrats that could rival the republican revolution of 1994. do you believe that's going to happen? >> i don't. i don't, wolf. you know it's good to have been in this business for a while because i remember when a lot of pundits were saying that about my own race for governor in 2005. is the climate tough? sure it is because too many people are hurting. but we think as the voters start to make their decisions about who they're going to vote for they're making a choice and it's a choice between the democratic party, which has done heavy lifting to take an economy that was shrinking, and get it back to growing, not as fast as we want but we have to keep climbing and we can't afford to
go back and put the keys back in the hands of the party that ran us into this horrible recession in the last decade. i think voters will understand that. >> how did it happen in the past year and a half that the situation at least in the polls has deteriorated so badly for the democrats? >> well, you know, there are a lot of features but i think the simple version is a lot of people supported the democrats in 2008 because they were hurting. 2008 saw the start of 22 months in a row of private sector job loss. we were losing 750,000 jobs a month on inauguration day. people came to us and they said, look. we're hurting. we want you to help. we would all say, we're not yet where we want to be but the good news is instead of a shrinking economy it's growing again. the auto industry is adding workers, manufacturing is now showing some strength in coming back. we have a long way to go but we'll only get there if we keep doing the right thing and investing in small businesses, investing in middle class success. we're not going to get there by
going back to the policies that john boehner and others say they're going to go back to if they get the majority in the house. >> here is a phenomenon that's developing and i think it must be very worrisome to you as leader of the democratic party. we're finding, seeing democratic congressmen seeking re-election now running away from the president, the speaker, the majority leader. listen to this ad. jason altmire democratic congressman from pennsylvania who wants to be re-elected. watch and listen. >> too many people in congress just vote the party line. >> jason altmire is not like that. >> jason is independent. no doubt about. >> you saw when he voted against health care. >> when jason opposed the wall street bailout -- >> i like that jason is not afraid to stand up to the president. >> and nancy pelosi. >> wow. that's pretty amazing. a democratic congressman running a commercial saying he is not afraid to stand up to the president of the united states and the speaker of the house. do you remember when that has happened before?
>> well, look. read truman's biography. it definitely happened during the truman era as the president was saving europe and creating a strong american economy after world war ii. you know, here is what i think about these generally. democrats who have been in congress have every right to be proud of the heavy lifting they have done. 4 million more american kids have health insurance today because of what they've diop. women are entitled to equal pay for equal work. we've saved the auto industry, stabilized the financial sector, and as i've said an economy that was shrinking is now growing. people ought to be proud of those accomplishments but i also understand that folks have particular districts, especially with, you know, gerrymander district. they have to speak mostly to their constituents' concerns especially in district races and you have to give latitude to candidates to run the way they want to run but any democrat can feel good about hard work that they've done to get this nation on the right track. >> so when a democratic incumbent says, does a commercial like this, basically saying i'm not with the president, i'm not with the
speaker, does the chairman of the party, namely you, do you call them up and say, hey, congressman, what are you doing here? why are you saying these things? why are you doing these things? are you just sort of leaving it alone? >> well, look. there are too many races for me to spend time on all the races so i prioritize where i'm going to be and where i think i can be helpful and, you know, you won't be surprised, wolf, to know i tend to be a little more helpful to those who are enthusiastically telling about the good things the party has done. as you know i was in elected office for 16 years and i know about running in tough districts. >> here's the question. will the dnc cut off funding for jason altmire and other democrats who are seeking re-election and go after, criticize the president of the united states? >> wolf, i'm not prepared to say that. in fact, you know this is true, the democrats are a big tent. it's the other side that tends to throw people out if they don't have the right position on taxes or choice. the dems are a big tent. we've always been a big tent.
that is one of the strengths of our party. it can create some challenges in time but overall, we don't want to be the party that throws folks over the side, you know, because they run an ad we don't like or cast a vote we don't like. >> so the dnc, the d triple c, they could still pump in some cash to help a guy like altmire? >> well, the d triple c is goin >> well, the dnc will make their decisions, but the dnc has been heavily investing in pennsylvania. there are a whole number of races in pennsylvania that are important and especially the race for senator with joe ses k sestak, and we hope that we have good candidates there, but my advice to democrats everywhere, put a d after your name, and hey, be proud of it. >> i don't think that altmire will be invited to the white house if he is re-elected, but you see that we have lost tim kaine, but we had wrapped up the
interview. i want to than tim kaine. and a church is planning to burn the koran as a warning to muslim extremists. is that a good idea? jack cafferty with the e-mail when we come back. get the lay of the land. but then autoblog.com calls your interior lexus quiet. and automobile magazine goes comparing you to a cadillac. ♪ so much for the new kid fitting in with the rest of the class. the all new chevrolet cruze. starting under $17,000. get used to more. ♪
jack cafferty is back with the cafferty file. jack? >> well, florida church -- question this hour, a florida church is planning to build korans on september 11th as a warning to muslim extremists. is this a good idea? sounds like that geico commercial. well, ann in south carolina, burning the muslim's holy book is not a good idea, but sign of disrespect and ignorance. the koran is sacred to all muslims and by burning it, all will be offended and not just the radical muslims. and terry says they are offended when the muslims burn the bible, and has he not heard of turning the other cheek, and two wrongs don't make a right? he is looking for publicity. i find everything about this plan offensive. bud in jacksonville, florida, this koran burning does recognize a growing awareness that america will soon be in trouble like many other
countries and communities if the impact of islam is not soon unld by us all. as the muslim population in each host country grows, so does the conflict between the muslim laws and aims and goals of those of a secular democratic and free society like the united states. the two in the long run cannot coexist peacefully. sylvia in san diego, clearly disrespecting religion or religious symbols is bad behavior and something i would not do, however, we live in a country of laws and the laws of free speenks and this pastor is exercising his free speech in a way that is what he feels is ap proelate, and effective. >> well, it is a good idea if you want to attract national attention to yourself and don't care about looking like a complete jackass doing it. and this one, they have the right to burn corankorans of th
own, but to do so would be rude and incense tiff just like the mosque at ground zero. and daniel says, the sign of burning books is the sign of a closed and frightened mind. it is a controversial topic, if you want to read more go to my blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile. i bet it is not happening. >> we will see. saturday, anniversary of the 9/11. and for the first time u.s. has ended its mission in iraq, u.s. troops are targeted for an attack, and we will tell you the circumstances surrounding the shootings today.
in iraq, u.s. soldiers came under fire today in two attacks, one of them deadly. arwa damon is in baghdad. arwa? >> wolf, a week after the u.s. military officially ended the combat role in iraq, two u.s. soldiers were kill and ten wounded. in separate attacks both in the same province. the deadliest and the more disturbing happening on an iraqi military base where a u.s. captain had a meeting. the soldiers escorting him were waiting outside when they got into some sort of argument with an iraqi army soldier according to the spokesman for iraq's minister of defense. the soldier pulled out his weapons and shot at the soldiers killing two americans and wounding another nine. the other incident happening in tikrit in the center of the city
where a convoy came under grenade attack. the u.s. says they shot and killed the attacker, but that one u.s. soldier was wounded and another three civilians were wounded as well when one of the grenades exploded. this is very much a reminder that even though iraqi freedom combat mission they have come to an end, we are entering the new era of "operation new dawn" which shows that iraq very much remains a deadly battleground. wolf? you are in "the situation room." happening now, growing concern among military commanders over a florida's church plan to burn copies of the koran. will it undo years of work in iraq and afghanistan and other places and put the lives of u.s. troops at risk? >> also, an interview reveals extraordinary headlines. what fidel castro said about the iranian president mahmoud
ahmadinejad. and also, the plan to jump start the economy by the president's speeches. the reaction is so-far lukewarm. is the proposal too little too late? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in i'm wolf blitzer, and you are in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com the plan by a tiny florida church to mark the 9/11 anniversary by burning the muslim holy book is raising an alarm with the top military commanders. they say that the koran burning could endanger the lives of american troops. our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is looking into the story for us. lots of concern, chris, and what are you hearing? >> yeah, wolf. here in the pentagon and here in the building the defense officials are saying, look, who is the most likely target? the easiest target for retaliation? it is the american troops who are already overseas serving in
places like iraq and afghanistan and because the images can be replayed over and over again in today's media, they are worried that the impact could go on for years. the threat of a american pastor burning a koran has u.s. military commanders on edge. fearing that the retaliation will come down hardest on the troops serving overseas. they fear it will undo all of the work they have done to avoid anything that could be considered offensive. general petraeus says that the images of burning a koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in afghanistan and around the world to inflame public opinion and incite violence. in iraq last week, we heard the officers tell the soldiers in 120-degree heat, try to avoid eating or drinking outside in front of iraqi troops. it is ramadan, and since a lot of the muslim troops are fasting in the day, they didn't want to appear disrespectful. ♪ everybody needs forgiveness
>> reporter: when i was embedded with the marines in april, they celebrated easterner afghanistan, but only in a specific tent. outside even on the base. >> you have to watch what you say. >> reporter: obviously, the higher ups have put the word out, that the counterinsurgency strategy demands that christian strategy remind them they are in foreign land. >> just here, you are around interpreters and people who do not believe the same way you do, and we are here in a coin fight and we need to win the people, and that includes the people we work with. >> reporter: but it is a clash of two principles, because there is nothing illegal about burning a book. military leaders are sworn to uphold the constitution. >> we have freedom of religious tolerance and freedom of expression. >> reporter: on the one hand, the executive talks about the pastor's freedom to speech, and then calls it un-american. >> it is un-american in the sense that it does not represent
the views of the vast majority of americans who are respectful of religions. >> reporter: you know, remember the photos from abu ghraib, and the pictures of american troops in iraq disrespecting muslim prisoners, well, u.s. officials say here that they were very slow to respond to that and still to this day talk about the damage it did among muslims of the image of american troops. well, general petraeus says that this image of a burning koran could have the same effect, and that it could jeopardize troop safety and the overall mission in afghanistan as well, wolf. >> we heard that from general caldwell as well, and he is in charge of training for all of the troops in afghanistan. chris lawrence, thank you very much. could the plan behind this koran planning, could he have separate taughts? pastor terry jones says his group will go through the
action, but then they are weighing the consequences. he spoke with us about this. >> we first declared september 11th international burn a koran day actually for two days. number one, we wanted to remember those who were brutally murdered on september 11th, and actually wanted to send a clear message to the radical element of islam. we wanted to send a clear message to them that we are not interested in their sharel law, and we do not tolerate their threats, fear, radicalness. we live in the united states of america. we want to send a clear message to the peaceful muslims. we have freedom of speech, we have freedom of religion. >> does it bother you that the military, and the military leaders believe that by doing this you are very likely put the lives of u.s. soldiers at risk
in muslim countries? david petraeus, the general, said, that their actions will jeopardize the safety of young men and women serving in uniform over here, and also undermine the mission they are trying to accomplish. are you willing to have the blood of soldiers on your hands by this demonstration? >> yeah, we are actually very, very concerned, of course. we are taking this general's words very serious. we are continuing to pray about the action on september 11th. we are indeed very concerned about it. it is just that we don't know -- how long do we back down? >> could the koran burning be the tip of an iceberg? interfaith leaders are concerned about a backlash against muslims tied to the 9/11 anniversary this saturday. brian todd is looking into this part of the story for us. brian, what are you seeing? >> well, wolf, that concern is really palpable, and muslim
leaders in the u.s. growing more concerned with what you said the growing tide of fear and intolerance toward american muslims in the days leading up to the 9/11 anniversary. that concern is shared by enough officials in the obama administration that muslim leaders and other leaders were granted a special audience right here at the justice department with the attorney general. >> reporter: they see a florida church going ahead with plans to burn copies of the koran. they see the fight over a planned muslim community center near ground zero, and they believe there is a spike in in a tie islamic hate crimes in the u.s. leading up to this anxious anniversary of 9/11. and now muslim leaders have joined with christian jewish representatives and others and taken the concerns straight to attorney general eric holder in a special meeting, but they admit that outside of the commission of the crimes, there is maybe little that the justice department can do. >> when it is not technically league gal to burn the koran or
other book, what do you expect the justice department do in these cases? >> to fulfill its mandate. we have not asked eric holder to prosecute anyone for burning the koran or making a negative statement about islam, but what we do want the government the do and what the attorney general has promised to do is to prosecute hate crimes, to prosecute violence against muslims. >> reporter: some religious leaders say that election year politics are partly to blame for the growing anxiety in the muslim community. and the cardinal says it is a byproduct of an open society. what does it say about interfaith relationships in the united states when members of a church feel they should burn copies of the koran? >> well, it -- i think it shows the freedom of expression here in the united states. you cannot control everybody's attitude, and you should not. you should try to. you should try to reason with people, and say that, you are
christians, doesn't jesus say you have the love the neighbor? there are probably other things in their lives that have forced them to maybe they have been disappointed or maybe they have run into a bad person from another faith, and that is reaction. >> reporter: now, we just got word that their meeting with eric holder has concluded, the meeting of holder and religious leaders and they have emerged to tell us that the meeting went well and pleased with it. eric holder said that nobody in the united states should live or pray in fear. he called it one of the most serious civil rights issue of our time. that was their words that they told us that from the meeting with eric holder. wolf. >> brian is over at the justice department. thank you very much. this note, the imam at the center of the islamic center and mosque near ground zero is breaking his silence. it will happen here on cnn tomorrow night on "larry king live" and feisal abdul roof will
meet with soledad o'brien tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. eastern and that is followed by analysis reaction on "ac360" at 10:00 p.m. we have new information coming into "the situation room" right now about a closely watched case with serious implications. a preliminary injunction of a federal judge against federal money for embryonic stem cell research is in effect. the justice department arguing that the ruling could shut down potentially life-saving research, and the court saying that allowing government funding goes against a law passed by congress that says that no government money can lead to research that involves the destruction of embryos and the case is being appealed. we will watch it for you. jack cafferty is coming up next with the cafferty file. and then, exploring the
roots of terror. we will talk to the journalist and playwright behind the hbo documentary "my trip to al qaeda." and also, a message to ahmadinejad from fidel castro, stop slandering the jews. an extraordinary interview over three days with an american journalist, and that journalist is right here in "the situation room." and president obama headed to ohio to propose tax cuts and many are there to listen to what his fellow democrats are now saying. and had your shoes shined. well, i made you a reservation at the sushi place around the corner. well, in that case, i better get back to these invoices... which i'll do right after making your favorite pancakes. you know what? i'm going to tidy up your side of the office. i can't hear you because i'm also making you a smoothie. [ male announcer ] marriott hotels & resorts knows it's better for xerox to automate their global invoice process
so they can focus on serving their customers. with xerox, you're ready for real business. why does it say box tops for education on your soup? oh, it's a program that raises money for schools. that's great, but this is a can. yes it is. you can't have a box top on a can. yes we can. but a can isn't a box. we know. i don't think you do. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. we know. boss: and now i'll turn it over i gecko: ah, t, ecko. as we all know, geico has been saving people money on rv, camper and trailer insurance... ...as well as motorcycle insurance... gecko: oh...sorry, technical difficulties. boss: uh...what about this? gecko: what's this one do? gecko: um...maybe that one. ♪ dance music boss: ok, let's keep rolling. we're on motorcycle insurance. vo: take fifteen minutes to see how much you can save on motorcycle, rv, and camper insurance.
jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file. jack? >> as recovery summer draws to a close, and all of the polls are suggesting that the democrats may suffer a crushing defeat in midterm elections, president obama has decided that now is the time to roll out a brand new economic plan. some democrats are worried that it is all too little too late. the president wants to spend about $350 billion in new stimulus money to try to jump start the shaky economy. we have about $200 billion tax cuts for businesses to buy new equipment in the next year. $100 billion for permanent extension of the business tax credit for research and development, and $50 billion infrastructure plan to try to
create jobs in the long term. this would include rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rails and 150 miles of airport runways. weren't some of the infrastructure things supposed to be in the first stimulus deal? i think they were. but officials acknowledge that no new jobs will be created by all of this even if it happens until 2011. all totaled the $350 would total nearly half of the size of the initial stimulus plan when president obama first took office and of course at the moment, there is money to pay for any of this. it is highly unlikely any of this will get through this year, but they will come back and then get a break for the hol di, and then they come back, and then another break for the end of the year. so there is not much of a break in this recovery economy. a poll shows that 81% rate
economic conditions poor. 18% say they are good. half of the country say that conditions have not improved at all in the last two years. so, here is the question. is president obama's latest economic plan too little too late? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, and post a comment on my blog. wolf. >> i would like to know who the 18% are who think that the economy is in the good shape? >> well, they must be the drug dealers and stuff. i don't know. >> all right. jack, thank you very much. so, how is the president's proposal playing out on the road? our national political correspondent jessica yellin is on the election express in columbus, ohio, and that is a critical bellwether state where the president will unveil his new proposals right now. jessica, what are you hearing about this in ohio? >> well, wolf, i'm in a swing district in the quintessential swing state, and this is the
kind of place to determine if the democrats can keep the house in november. this district here, and part of columbus is held by mary jo kilroy, a freshman democrat elected two years ago, and the republicans ares ares a tarting be replaced. she is facing steve stooifrs, and it is a rematch, because she faced him two years ago and barely won by 2100 votes and fewer than 2,500 votes, and the two of them are going back and forth over the economy. you say that the president is coming here tomorrow, and she and others and other democrats say they want the message from the president on the economy and he is coming here to deliver it, but it is not enough, wolf, because i asked her, will you commit to supporting the measures that the president will lay out tomorrow? and she would not commit to voting yes on them. listen. >> i think that the white house is coming out here and saying that they are going to turn this around, and continue to work to turn it around and we can't go back to the same failed policies that got us into the mess.
>> reporter: will you vote for the proposals that the president is laying out this week? >> i haven't seen them yet and how we are paying for them. so, that is, you know, i can't really tell you exactly right now how the votes are going to pay out. >> reporter: but if they are paid for, you would support them in concept? >> we need to be serious about the deficit. >> so you see, wolf. she does not want to be nailed down on it. so the democrats are caught between the tension on one hand and the voters want them to rein in spending, and then spend in some cases, and they are needing to articulate a clear message here for democrats particularly here. >> some of the democrats seeking re-election and are in trouble they want money for the dnc and dnccc, and when cash comes to district or the state, they are sort of mia, and what about mary jo kilroy, is she going to be in
cleveland tomorrow when the president shows up there? >> no, we got a mixed message from her. she will not go to cleveland tomorrow, and she says it is not her district. she has to stay here, and it is not far to be honest, but she welcomes the president and would love to campaign with her in her district any time. so a little bit of having it both ways there, but i guess that she could use his fund-raising prowess which he is able to dial in the dollars when he comes to town. >> well, they all want the money. thank you very much. republicans are defending 179 seats in the house of representatives, and of all 435 house seats up for re-election, the republicans need to gain 39 additional seats to gain the majority. taking a look at the open seats where the current members of congress won't be on the ballot in november, there are 23 on the republican side, and 20 on the democratic side, and we are talking about in the senate, and
included in that are two congressmen who each side have lost their primaries. one of cnn's list of the 50 most vulnerable house seats of that list, 46 of them are currently filled by democrats, and that is why they are so worried. that list is available by the way online at cnn.com/ticker where you can get so much valuable political news. >> he the most infamous flight attendant and now word of a possible plea deal for the former jetblue employee who slid off of the job in a dramatic way. and details of a bizarre attempt to correct a environmental disaster using dead mice and tylenol. poor circulation in your legs. t causing you pain. it more than doubles your risk of a heart attack or stroke. i was going to tell you. if you have p.a.d., plavix can help protect you from a heart attack or stroke. plavix helps keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots,
the cause of most heart attacks and strokes. call the doctor about plavix -- please? i will. [ male announcer ] certain genetic factors and some medicines such as prilosec reduce the effect of plavix leaving you at greater risk for heart attack and stroke. your doctor may use genetic tests to determine treatment. don't stop taking plavix without talking to your doctor as your risk of heart attack or stroke may increase. people with stomach ulcers or conditions that cause bleeding should not use plavix. taking plavix alone or with some other medicines including aspirin may increase bleeding risk, so tell your doctor when planning surgery. tell your doctor all medicines you take including aspirin especially if you've had a stroke. if fever, unexplained weakness or confusion develops, tell your doctor promptly. these may be signs of ttp, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, reported sometimes less than two weeks after starting plavix. other rare but serious side effects may occur. [ female announcer ] talk to your doctor about plavix.
we are monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room." kate bolduan, what is going on? >> six children are among the 20 people killed by a powerful remote controlled bomb targeting police in pakistan. they say it contained 440 pounds of explosives. at least 94 people were injured. pakistan has been rocked by a series of suicide attacks, including one yesterday that killed 17 people. the taliban have claimed responsibility for that attack.
in a plea bargain, maybe in the works for former jetblue flight attendant steven slater who is facing felony charges for deploying a slide to leave his or slide off of his job last month. he could face seven years in prison. his lawyers say he is looking forward to an amicable resolution, and they are watching and weighing the seriousness of his actions. wolf, a hard time believing this one and you will as well. the u.s. agriculture is trying a new methed to the try to control the brown tree snake which is injecting the generic form of tylenol into bodies of dead mice and strapping them to cardboard and then dropping them from helicopters. they are are hoping it will pro a irresistible and deadly snack. it is apparently dangerous,
because they are wiped out entire populations of native birds there, but it is interesting way they are trying to take care of this. >> creative. >> yes. >> thank you, kate. a message from fidel castro of cuba and why he is telling iran's ahmadinejad to stop slandering the jews. and we go to a place where al qaeda was born. and what is the bottom line if the obama administration lets tax cuts die? ...peggy. you have problem? peggy? ok, i've been waiting for fifteen minutes for someone to pick up. you're tenacious like bull. i like. please hold. no, no, no...pe- so pretty. anncr: want better customer service? switch to discover, where you can talk to a real person in less than a minute. ♪ [ male announcer ] your first day.
fortunately, there's senokot-s tablets. senokot-s for occasional constipation associated with certain medications. find the relief that's right for you and get a $10 rebate at getconstipationrelief.com. my joints ache so bad, i wake up in pain every day. i want to know why. i want to know why my hair is falling out. how did this happen? how did this happen? a little pain in my knee. that's how it started. that's how it started, this rash on my face. now it's like my body is attacking me. i want answers. announcer: when you don't have the right answers, it may be time to ask your doctor the right question. could i have lupus?
an extraordinary report out of cuba where fidel castro is quote as saying that iran's leader should stop slandering the jews. the rare face-to-face interview appears in the "atlan atlantic.. jeffrey, you are here, and all of the sudden, you are invited to interview fidel castro. >> well, apparently he reads "the atlantick" and he read an article of iran and israel and the apparent conflict and he is concerned about the conflict and wanted me to come down to talk about it in havana. >> and you were concerned about it? >> yes, i went from one socialist paradise to another socialist island paradise and obviously come down, and who
wouldn't want to meet fidel castro. >> he has been sick for many years and he is 84 years old. >> yes, sick for many years. >> how did he appear to you? >> frail. and walks with guys to the left and right of him and short step, and mentally acute. and the interesting thing is that he is actually sort of jocular, and you would not think this, but he has a sense of humor or at least he does in the post leadership phase, and he is lighter than you would think he would be, but that is because he is retired in fact, and his brother is running the country. >> mentally alert? >> yes, mentally alert. >> on top of the issues? >> yes, extremely on top of the issues. i would not be surprised if he does not watch cnn half of the day. he is watching the internet, and trying to emerge from the lengthy illness and become a player again like a senior
statesman. steven schwartzman says that he this is his new mode and be a senior statesman and be a bridge builder and peacekeeper and that sort of thing. >> well, he has had a good relationship with ahmadinejad of iran, but he wanted you the basically send a message to him? >> right. he wanted two messages. he wanted netanyahu, the prime minister of israel to know that the military solution is not the solution for israel. >> as for as israel using military force to knock out the iranian nuclear facilities. >> yes, and what seems to me is that he is personally offended of ahmadinejad's denial of the holocaust which is the essential pail lar -- pillar of the way h talks about it. he says that the jews are persecuted people over 2 million year, and nobody should talk about this, and in order to solve the problem, is to talk about the problem, and another
way would be for iran to say to itself that the jews are worried about the threats we make for good reason. don't deny the feelings that we have about the prejudice coming out of iran. >> well, he went one step further in the interview, and you went three days and spent hours and hours with him. >> hours and hours. >> and he flatly said that israel has a right to gis? >> that is surprising, because cuba broke relations with israel in 1973 after the yom kippur war. when i talked about the role of an an anti-semiti anti-semitism, he described the problem as a political problem with israel and not a cultural or religious problem, and i asked him why he didn't re-establish relations with israel, and he said it takes a long time, but i am retired. but he was sympathetic to israel as a jewish state, and i was surprised about that.
>> when you say these things to ahmadinejad when they meet face to face, tell our viewers what he said to you. >> he said that the iranian leadership should stop talking about the jews this way and should be more sensitive. and i said, why don't you tell him this directly? and he said, you tell him. so i wrote it up in the atlantic. and he had a specific message to be delivered. i found that interesting that three months ago we thought that this guy was on the death bed. >> and a big picture, because what does this say about fidel castro that a, he inviteded you and spent days talking to you and had statesmen like messages? >> well, the health is back, and he can play a useful role for cuba, and his brother is obviously obsessed with cuba's continuing political and economic crisis, and fidel is going to be out there, i think
that we will see in the coming months talking more to foreignleforeign leader about not only cuban issues, but world issues. cuba has been small for him in some way, and he is back on stage. >> he is watching us right now? >> he very well could be. he very well could be. >> i would like to follow-up with him, and spend time with him myself. thank you for this and more on this in the upcoming article. >> yes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. what happens if americans allow the bush laws to expire? we will explain. and unearthing the roots of terror in a new hbo documentary, "my trip to al qaeda" and lawrence wright is right here in "the situation room." when you approach things from a different perspective, you don't end up with just another car.
a dramatic policy break between president obama and his former white house budget director. in the new york times peter or zag argues against letting the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans expire. he writes that this would make the stagnating job market worse. is he right? mary snow has a reality check for us, and she is looking at the tax cuts if they are extended, not extended and the
impact. what are you finding out, mary? >> well, wolff, we took a look at small businesses, because critics of the obama's administration to let bush era tax cuts expire for high income americans will hurt business. so who stands to lose? we went to the nonpartisan tax policy center where howard glekman has been crunching the numbers. >> we are talking about people who have small businesses who report their income on their individual tax returns. some of these people may be the kind of folks that you think of as a small business, maybe the guy who owns a neighborhood dry cleaner or local electrician, but a lot of other people who file on their individual returns are doctors and lawyers and investment bankers who get their income through partnerships but file as individuals. >> and to let those tax cuts expire means that roughly 3% of business owners will be directly affected. that top 3%, he says, make about
700,0$700,000 in business incom compared to a typical small business owner bringing in $40,000 a year. and because the president is advocating extending the tax cuts to families making under $250,000 a year, the small business owners would not be affected. >> what does this mean for the deficit? the bottom line? >> when you look at the numbers, extending the tax cuts would cost roughly $600 billion over a ten-year period. those are the tax cuts for the wealthy. here is how the math works. these numbers are provided by the tax policy center. if the tax cuts are extended as planned to american families making under $250,000. federal revenue would be reduced by $3 trillion over the next decade. if the tax cuts were extended to the wealthy, that is an additional $600 billion amounting to $3.6 trillion in lost federal revenue.
>> thank you very much mary snow with a reality check. back to ohio right now. just ant always it turns out to be a key battleground state come election time. cnn's john king is joining us from the cnn election express, and john's show "john king usa" is coming up at the top of the hour. the president won in ohio in 2008, but based on what you are seeing and hearing from voters in columbus, what's the mood? >> wolf, i could give you some sort of weather metaphor, or cliche, because we have a thunderstorm passing through, so excuse us if you see the lightning flashing in the background. we are fine. it is moving through. the mood here is double-digit unemployment, and the voters are frustrated. a people are asking where are the good paying jobs and why can't i find jobs? as a result, the democrats are in trouble here. and we will talk to the
democratic governor ted strictland, and the polls show him losing right now. the republican candidate for senate is winning. and the democrats could lose one, two, three house seats here. i had a conservation with john kasic, and you remember him, the house budget committee when they ran the house under speaker newt gingrich, and many are dismissive, but john kasic was interesting, because he knows that the president is coming to the state tomorrow, and he will propose a new research and development tax credit, but he says he wants to see the details, but republicans should not worry about the election, because if the president has a decent idea, they should support it, but he quickly pivoted and said that the president has been anti-business for the first two years of the presidency. >> the tragedy here is it is almost a blown two years. and now, what we have going when you take a look at the taxes and the health care bill, and you
take a look at the amount of addition aal regulations on business, are the bush tax cuts going to be repealed strikes fear in the heart of business, and particularly small businesses, and also strikes fear into the hearts of americans. >> reporter: white house, of course, would take issue with that, wolf. if you want to watch one state between now and election day exactly eight weeks from today, this is a good one to watch. several competitive races here, and several races could determine if the son of john boehner gets to be the next leader of the house of reptstives. >> we will be watching, john. "john king usa" comes up at the top of the hour. we will be watching. and now we will go inside of an ancient fortress where several al qaeda leaders were jailed. [ drums playing ] [ male announcer ] 306 horsepower.
race-inspired paddle shifters. and f-sport-tuned suspension. all available on the new 2011 lexus is. it isn't real performance unless it's wielded with precision. you took my eggs ! it's an "egg management fee." what does that even mean ? egg management fee. even kids know it's wrong to take other people's stuff. that's why at ally bank we offer rates among the most competitive in the country that won't get eaten away by fees. it's just the right thing to do. hi. we're ready to switch our car insurance to progressive. today just seemed like a great day to save. oh, it's not just today. with our free loyalty program, you earn great stuff like accident forgiveness and bigger discounts
retraces the steps he took while researching his best selling book about al qaeda. he takes u inside of an egyptian fortress where some of the al qaeda future leaders were jailed. watch this. >> the citadel was built with a group of captured christian crusaders. 900 years later, it was in the same cells that the radical thoughts that led to al qaeda were born. one of my major contacts in cairo was montasser who had been in a radical movement and imprisoned. he told me was zawahiri's next door cell matt. lawrence joins us, an amazing document airing later tonight. how powerful is al qaeda right now? >> well, al qaeda central, the organization that planned and carried out 9/11 is much reduced from its pre-9/11 days.
the cia says that 300 people, and the egyptian intelligence told me 200, and in either case, it is much smaller, but the idea of al qaeda has promulgated and taken root in other forms. so we have allegiances in different countries and wannabes all of which are dangerous, but i don't think that they can carry out another 9/11. >> they could not get their hands on some nuclear device and kill thousands and thousands of people, because it is an enormous fear that people have out there? >> i think that the chances of that are really remote, wolf. it is conceivable. it is in the realm of possibility, but what is much more likely is that if one of the attempts like the times square bomber or the zazi guy who wanted to blow up the subways in new york, one of those guys will get lucky and it is will be an individual or small group and it will be
devastating, but it won't be 9/11. >> bin laden, do you believe he is hiding with al zawahiri, or separate? you have done a lot of research into this. >> well, you know, i think that they are probablying to. bin laden is not sick in the way that the cia had imagined. i don't think that he has kidney disease, but he does have health problems. and zawahiri is a doctor, so that one of the reasons that they are close together. on the other hand, zawahiri has been much more active in getting out tapes and videos than bin laden which suggests that bin laden is much more in the deep freeze. i wouldn't be surprised if they were somewhere that is really not where we are looking for them in the tribal areas, but in yemen for instance, and 34 wh n somewhere we are not paying attention. >> what is the biggest misconception that americans have about islamic
fundamentalism, and islamic terrorism? >> i suppose to me that the biggest misconception is that these are islamic extremists, and they are not mainstream muslims, and with all of the heated rhetoric flying around in this country and others right now about islam, one would get to thinking pretty soon, it is islam at war with america, which is not at all true. the truth of this is that al qaeda is at war with islam, and we are getting the spillover. >> have you been following this ish shoo new florida, this pastor of a obscure group who wants to start burning the koran on the anniversary, the ninth anniversary of 9/11 this saturday and the reaction it could generate? >> i am horrified that anybody would do such a thing, and just to respect another holy book like that is itself appalling, but as general petraeus has
said, it endangers american soldiers who are stationed abroad in muslim countries. we have no more need for this kind of provocation. i am outrage and dismayed. >> and this notion that in the muslim world, not just the extremists, but rank and file muslims would not necessarily appreciate this is just a tiny little fringe group in florida, and they do not speak for the united states, that would not necessarily come across, would it? >> no. especially in cultures where there is very little real news, and very little hard analysis, and not very much divergence of opinion. it is difficult to convey the nuances of a very distant and sophisticated culture such as ours. we can look at it and say, we know who that guy is, but if you are in kandahar, you may not be able to distinguish how we feel about that. >> lawrence wright's documentary is entitled "my trip to al qaeda."
it airs on the sister network hbo later tonight. lawrence, thanks very much. >> i have enjoyed it, wolf. thanks. is president obama's latest economic plan too little, too late? jack cafferty up next with the e-mail. and the latest fashion accessory for your car. cnn's jeanne moos takes a moos unusual look at car latches. hino it's a yea 50 milpromise. schemaintee and /7 roaide assiance. beusen y ce the st bif, faaronar and while it can never be fully answered, it helps to have a financial partner like northern trust. by gaining a keen understanding of your financial needs,
we're able to tailor a plan using a full suite... of sophisticated investment strategies and solutions. so whatever's around the corner can be faced with confidence. ♪ northern trust. look ahead with us at northerntrust.com. you get nothing for driving safely. truth: at allstate, you get a check in the mail twice a year, every year you don't have an accident. the safe driving bonus® check. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
jack cafferty back with "the cafferty file." is president obama's latest economic plan too little, too late? bob writes, no, it's not the right answer. the economy needs jobs. make e-verify mandatory, no mandatory, no amnesty, secure the border, tax those that outsource and then bring product back to the u.s., tack chinese exports and bring them back to the u.s. that would bring back millions of jobs. considering how long the administration has been in office that would be a definite yes. they should have had a working plan on day one. the economic plan, if any, is 230 months overdue and even this plan won't guarantee recovery. julie writes could you please see the glass as half full?
apparently about 90% us are doing okay, we're just afraid because the news keeps tilling us how afraid we should be as our customer confidence grows, so will our economy. jim says this is about garnering union votes. every stimulus dollar is tarted forward a union job this administration is throwing darts hoping they will hit something and win a prize. tell me, jack, we pay a federal tax on every drop of gas we put in our cars and trucks. that's targeted for bridges and roads. why do we need a stimulus for road repair. please tell us they didn't rape the fund like they did social security? did they? >> i wouldn't say too little too late, we spent a lot but i did too little. their new man should have been the original plan. infrastructure, roads, et cetera, i voted for obama and still like him. jeremy says, yes it is far too
late. the first stimulus was a complete failure on obama's part. we don't need to spend even more of our grandchildren's money. this money isn't free. please stop the insanity. and mark says it's may too little, but it's never too late. you can find more on our blog. >> we can find it see you tomorrow, jack. john king on cnn election express in ohio tonight. president obama arrives there tomorrow. john king, usa begins at the top of the hour, stand by for that. but after this break, here in the situation room, your car missing a certain something. could it be car lashes? cnn's jeanne moos takes a most unusual. is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs. calm down. i know that it is not your job. what i'm saying... excuse me? alright, fine. no, you don't have to do it. ok? [ male announcer ] notre dame knows it's better for xerox to control its printing costs.
so they can focus on winning on and off the field. [ manager ] are you sure i can't talk -- ok, no, i get it. [ male announcer ] with xerox, you're ready for real business. ♪ [ male announcer ] your first day. you try to lie low, get the lay of the land. but then autoblog.com calls your interior lexus quiet. and automobile magazine goes comparing you to a cadillac. ♪ so much for the new kid fitting in with the rest of the class. the all new chevrolet cruze. starting under $17,000. get used to more. ♪
did you know - after age forty, your body can lose up to eight percent of muscle per decade? try... each serving provides twenty-six vitamins and minerals. plus it has fifteen grams of protein to help maintain muscle. compare it to the leading competitor. boost high protein also has calcilock blend, with calcium and vitamin d to help maintain strong bones. get complete, balanced nutrition so you can stay active. try boost high protein. also available in powder. this has been medifacts for boost. down the hill? man: all right. we were actually thinking, maybe... we're going to hike up here, so we'll catch up with you guys. [ indistinct talking and laughter ] whew! i think it's worth it.
working with a partner you can trust is always a good decision. massmutual. let our financial professionals help you reach your goals. fake eyelashes for your car? cnn's jeanne moos takes a most unusual look. >> careful. when you go through the car wash you don't scrub off your car's eyelashes? car lashes, the latest automotive accessory, flexible plastic lashes you attach above your headlights. $24.99 a pair. >> it's adorable and very wims
call, but i don't know that i would put it on my car. >> would you put lashes on your car? >> yes, i would. it's going to look girlie. >> car lashes are aimed at women, not men. >> bmw, oh, please. you're messing up the car. >> but on a pink caddy. car lashes are the brainchild of a utah couple. robert small and his wife dottie. >> they really do spread joy in the world. >> and dottie dreamed up crystal eye liner. >> unnecessary. a little -- might appeal to my children. >> like the pixar movie "cars," or a disney animation. >> isn't she a beauty? >> creator robert small says -- >> i always thought cars had personalities, and the headlights looked like eyes. >> they had friends like there one test market their car lashes. >> i'm getting the most attention i've ever got in my whole life. it's bloody hilarious.
>> as for whether fake eyelashes. >> and then press the ends in. >> or car lashes are easier to put on? >> car lashes. >> it takes about 15 minutes. awe attach them with automotive trim tape that comes with the lashes. unlike fake eyelashes, car eyelashes can even help you park by providing a mark so you know where the end of the mark is. car lashes have a male competitor, the cash stashe. okay, maybe you'll never see car lashes on danica patrick's car or the presidential limousine. but robert and dottie have sold almost 2,000 since june and ordered another 10,000. are they just cute or functional too? >> well, what would you like them to do? >> i thought they were little windshield wipers that would bat their eyelashes. >> dottie says men may not put car lashes on their cars, but they like seeing women driving by with them. >> they feel like they ar